Voluntary outdoor mask-wearing can have incidental benefits in cities
The evidence for mandatory mask-wearing in outdoor settings to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 does not meet the threshold for public health intervention either at an individual or community level.. They may be even unforeseen harms particularly in wide open countryside with plenty of fresh air..
Law enforcement agencies may also not welcome mask-wearing in streets and parks as it could hamper identification of criminals on security camera (CCTV) images.
On the other hand, voluntary outdoor mask-wearing may have other incidental benefits. An immediate benefit would be protection from the air pollution that is choking our cities.
COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the erosion of privacy in our society. It is a matter of time before software companies prime the population to accept facial recognition in everyday life. Masks may provide some degree of privacy against virtual stalking at street level.
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Competing interests: No competing interests